The 2013 Christmas Wine Guide
With Christmas just weeks away you may have started to plan your sumptuous Christmas feast - and there's a lot to consider. Do you opt for the old favourite, turkey, or perhaps something a little more adventurous such as goose? That's before you start worrying about the myriad of side dishes and desserts you'll need to prepare.
The choice of table wine however can often make or break a festive feast, and it can be hard to know exactly what species of grape will accompany a particular meat perfectly. With this in mind, the experts at Hard to Find Wines have put together this guide, offering some suggestions for your Christmas meal to take the stress out of the decision-making process.
Turkey or Chicken
Both of these birds are the popular choices for the Christmas meal, and one of the best things about them from a wine point of view is that they go so well with a wide range of different wines. Instead, consider the side dishes and accompaniments you will be serving with the meat.
If you are preparing spring vegetables, for example peas, consider a white wine that has a similar 'green' taste, like a Domaine Phillippe Raimbault Sancerre. If you'd prefer a red wine, a Chianti would work well.
For veg with a more 'earthy' feel consider something like a particularly woodsy Merlot or a Californian Chardonnay like Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks.
For a roast beef Christmas dinner, Hard to Find Wines would recommend choosing a red that is well-balanced, with firm but smooth settings and an oaky flavour.
Some examples of the sorts of reds that go great with this particular meat include full-bodied, dry Bordeaux wines such as the South African Constantia Uitsig, an Australian Shiraz like Oakridge Over the Shoulder or a bold and spicy Rioja such as the Medievo Crianza.
A dry Riesling is ideal if you're going to be making an apple stuffing to accompany your goose, while a spätlese Riesling is great for cutting through that fat and adding a touch of sweetness.
If red wine is more to your taste then you can't go wrong with a Barolo or Barbaresco, both of which cope well with the rich flavour of the meat thanks to their structure and acidity. For something a little more crowd pleasing however you should probably opt for a Pinot Noir that displays some sweet, silky fruit flavours - don't over work your palate with big tannins.
This is another popular choice for a Christmas meat selection, and the wine that you choose should depend on the style of pork you're cooking up.
If you're preparing something a bit spicy then something like the Madonna Estate Gewürztraminer would be perfect, offering up nuances of grapefruit and honey alongside a hint of spice and a crisp finish.
For herbed pork you want to ensure you don't overwhelm the mild flavours of the meat. A creamy Chardonnay should be perfect, especially if there are notes of apple, citrus or oak.
Ultimately the wine you choose will come down to what you like, however by following this advice from the experts, you can feel confident that your tipple will go down a treat alongside your choice of food.
This guest post was written on behalf of Hard to Find Wines, specialist providers of quality wines from all over the world that are hand-picked for their exclusivity.